The Daily Mail printed a story by Jennifer Smith on the 27th of October 2013 about a Father removing both of his children from their school as his younger daughter was told that she was not allowed to wear her leopard print coat.
Far be it from me to judge the school on this idea. I completely and utterly understand why schools have strict rules on uniform and frankly I see it as necessary; when we go out to work we are expected to conform to the dress code of that company. The school uniform policy is merely preparing children for that lifestyle. What I don’t understand is why the school can’t allow a little self expression in their dress code.
I suppose that Leopard print can be regarded as inappropriate on a young child; maybe it is, it does after all have an air of sexual connotations around the pattern. But far worse in my opinion is the leather look leggings and leather dresses which are all the rage- yes, they are all the rage for members of the Saturdays and young women in their 20s (of which I count myself among them and even own both a leather dress and a pair of leather look leggings- how very radical of me…) However, I don’t see why young girls of 4 or 5 should have leather skirts marketed at them as I witnessed in one highstreet shop on the weekend.
The leopard coat and indeed any coat is a form of self expression, children need to express their individuality. The school in question which ‘banned’ the coat did so as they said they only allowed black or grey coats. This is fair enough… What I would like to know though is whether the school would have permitted a grey leopard print jacket? A snow leopard perhaps?
I do think that the choice to remove the child from the school is very hasty. The girl aged 12 is likely to miss out on a chunk of her education all because of a coat… When she goes to a job interview in years to come and is asked a crucial question, the potential employer will not accept ‘I didn’t go to school cos I couldn’t wear my coat’ as an excuse.
A slightly outrageous decision for what is essentially a rather nice coat…